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So many choices!!! Please assist!


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#1 Jeimygirl

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:10 AM

Hello everyone!

I am in the market for a new computer and I honestly have no clue what to get. I know the basics of computers, and I built my own about 6 years ago, but I don't have the time to do all the research I would like being a single mom of 2 boys under the age of 3. So I am hoping that you all could help!

First, I have 2 laptops, well had one that I fried a couple years ago and one that's very old. I also have a desktop that is slower than molasses with a 18 in flat screen. so I am ready to upgrade to something that wont freeze and aggravate me.

I will be using my computer for pretty much the basics. Web surfing, Microsoft Office use ect. But the biggest thing will be photo editing. I am an amateur photographer and take many many pictures. I use the Adobe Photoshop and its sister programs very often, with hundreds of pictures opened at one time. Also, when I surf the web I use multiple tabs at once. So I do a ton of multitasking.

I need to decide what type of computer to get and what specs. I will go for either a Desktop, Laptop or Mac. I will also be using my 46 in LED TV as the primary screen. I also plan on using such things as Netflix and Youtube , which my blu-ray is set up to use already, if I plug a wireless device to it. (I'm not sure what would be better, to stream Netflix through the computer onto the screen or blu-ray to the screen) I'm trying to get the most for my money (which I believe ends up being a PC) I'm not too worried about portability as I do have a working laptop I can use for basics if need be.

What do you suggest? Is there a difference in quality of the screen resolution from a Desktop, Laptop, Mac to my LED? What specs should I get? Such as what would work best for me with a ton of pictures and multiple running programs?

Your opinion is greatly appreciated! :blink:

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#2 troublesh00ter

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:41 AM

First off, run netflix through the Blu-Ray player! It works just as good if not better. You're guaranteed the best signal possible.

As for your computer... Yes, a desktop pc is a good choice. Macs are really good at working with photos, may want to look into that but I'm not an apple guy.

Also, your entry level mac computer is at least $1000 dollars and that doesn't include the extra RAM/HDD or video card you're going to need :\

photoshop isn't TOO demanding... It calls for at least a dual core but for as much multi-tasking as you're doing I would suggest one of the new Intel quads.


I think ur specs should look something like this...

CPU > 2.0GHz
RAM > 4GB
HDD > 500GB (Photos can take up a lot of space really fast, especially if it's your hobby. I would suggest having an external hard drive as big as 1 or even 2 TB.
That way if anything happens to the computer, all of your pictures will be safe in a different location.)

Video Card: If you're looking to buy a prebuilt box, you may or may not find a good deal on one with a decent graphics card in it. There usually are some good options but you have to look for em. Either way, all desktop pcs now have at least 1 pci express slot for you to load in a new graphics card... should this be the case, I'd recommend one of these...
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-nVidia-GeFo...I/dp/B002U0KEPY
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/se...C7BBTkwCjCECjCE
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=G...0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p


Were you looking at building your own again or did you want to just buy one that's built right from like BestBuy or something?
for3ver,
goose90proof

#3 Jeimygirl

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for the reply! I will take your suggestion on the Netflix through the Player :-)

I'm not big on MACs myself. I feel so restricted on what I can and can't do.

I'm not too sure if I want to build my own again or just get a prebuilt one from Best Buy or newegg. I don't have the time to research everything I want like I did before, so I'm thinking convenience and price. might get a prebuilt and add to is, such as the video card suggestion. I was thinking about the external drive too. I could use it to store my movies in it as well, and just plug it directly to my TV and watch them that way.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:04 PM

Well...what makes you think you would be happier with something someone here suggests...than you would be if you just went on your own instincts today?

If you don't want to do research...the thing to do (IMO) is buy an OEM system (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. are all waiting for you)...not much thinking involved there, they will tell you what they want to sell you.

FWIW: I see no reason to ever consider paying more for a system than it's worth.

There are very good PCS available today for $300-400 dollars, because the economy is bad, sales are slumping, and...to be honest...today's technology is far superior to anything the average user (like me) needs. Systems are made to appeal to gamers (read some of those ads) and those who don't realize that you don't need an i-anything to do the mundane things that most users do.

I see no reason to even think about telling you...how to spend your money. If you buy something based on what you read here...and it's a lemon on any level...then you will be resentful. If you buy something that you choose, you may still be resentful...but you will learn that it pays to do some research before throwing money around.

Speaking of money...how much are you willing to spend on this system suggested by disinterested parties who think you have an unlimited budget :blink:?

There's a reason that Best Buy, Walmart, and other retailers...also now sell computer systems to customers.

I think of Newegg as being more for those of us who shop for parts or who want to build systems....they have (IMO) a rather limited number of computers for sale when you compare them to even retailers like Walmart and Best Buy.

Louis

#5 troublesh00ter

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:20 AM

Hope this has helped make a decision.

When I buy technology, I like to buy near the top of the current line. That way I'm not buying again within the next 2 years to catch up AGAIN!! Then again, I like to play games so I HAVE to keep up if I want to feed my habit.

I'm sure you've heard this expression: "Once you buy a computer and walk out the door, it's already obsolete."

This holds merit in the respect that technology advances at a very high velocity. It improves quicker daily than it did just a few short years ago.

HOWEVER!!!! It won't be obsolete to the typical user because in 2 years, Grandma is still gonna be using her computer just for getting coupons and facebooking with her grand children. The technology this year is still RELEVANT TO HER in 2 years.

It's all in WHAT YOU USE IT FOR!

If you're looking for a new computer and all you need it for is to check your email once a day then buy a compaq/emachine/acer that will do the job for approx. $300

But you're using photoshop and like I said, it calls for at least a dual core but I've played with it on comps with duals and ones with quads. It performs so much better with a quad (especially if you're going to work on multiple photos, while browsing on line, and listening to music at the same time).
for3ver,
goose90proof

#6 Jeimygirl

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:22 AM

I understand that completely! I will definitely keep these specs when I shop around. Maybe go ahead and build my own again!

#7 Jeimygirl

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:30 AM

Well...what makes you think you would be happier with something someone here suggests...than you would be if you just went on your own instincts today?

If you don't want to do research...the thing to do (IMO) is buy an OEM system (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. are all waiting for you)...not much thinking involved there, they will tell you what they want to sell you.

FWIW: I see no reason to ever consider paying more for a system than it's worth.

There are very good PCS available today for $300-400 dollars, because the economy is bad, sales are slumping, and...to be honest...today's technology is far superior to anything the average user (like me) needs. Systems are made to appeal to gamers (read some of those ads) and those who don't realize that you don't need an i-anything to do the mundane things that most users do.

I see no reason to even think about telling you...how to spend your money. If you buy something based on what you read here...and it's a lemon on any level...then you will be resentful. If you buy something that you choose, you may still be resentful...but you will learn that it pays to do some research before throwing money around.

Speaking of money...how much are you willing to spend on this system suggested by disinterested parties who think you have an unlimited budget <img src="http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blink:" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />?

There's a reason that Best Buy, Walmart, and other retailers...also now sell computer systems to customers.

I think of Newegg as being more for those of us who shop for parts or who want to build systems....they have (IMO) a rather limited number of computers for sale when you compare them to even retailers like Walmart and Best Buy.

Louis


Well I have built my own in the past, asking doesn't hurt, it leads me to the right direction since I built mine over 5 years go. Technology changes like crazy over quarters, yet alone years.

#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:33 AM

I can understand how busy you must be having two young ones around to take care of. But there is nothing like the feeling of building your own. The satisfaction of matching the parts, assembling it, loading the OS then having it successfully boot for the first time is a great feeling.

Having built your own once already puts you heads above many. BC will be here to assist in any way it can with questions and concerns should you decide to do a garage build again. I say Go for it! :blink:

#9 Layback Bear

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:07 PM

Here is another choice. Look around in your local phone book and see if there is a local computer dealer that can help you with your choices. Privately owned. I have a Intel dealer that will work with customers on a pre built system or will make one to your needs. My Intel dealer discusses things with me and then I choose. Some times it's a little higher priced by a little from the Big Box retailers and many times it cost me less but you get to choose. You can decide weather you put it together or they do it. It cost nothing to ask. This way you will have options on what you want, what you need and the cost. You still should do your research to have a good idea of ball game you are playing.

#10 pspuria81

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 02:39 PM

my suggestion is to build your own u will get the most for your money and plus when you upgrade theres room for it

Cheers! :D

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#11 hamluis

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:51 PM

You can go to any forum for photo-editing...and get a very good idea of what works for both professionals and knowledgeable amateurs.

If that's your big concern...I think you'll find that adequate hard drive space and 4GB of RAM will be the key items. These things are pretty common and inexpensive in today's markets.

Louis

#12 Jeimygirl

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:15 AM

So I started to look around at parts and such to build my own for professional photo use and school ect. But as I started to look I came across Gateway sx series. I was thinking about maybe getting something along the lines of this for my "living room" computer. I already have an internet ready bluray and my hdtv has a tuner in it. But I like the idea of having a small desktop (such as the gateway sx2840) in the living room for various reasons. Some I'm unsure if I can do with this model so maybe I could ask some advice on it, at least until I can built my own for non play reasons.

-I don't play games on my computer, or any game system so I don't need anythign fancy for that.
-I would love to be able to use my computer as a DVR
-I want to possibly burn all my DVD's into a hard drive so I can put them all away and make room (which brings the question, when you import dvd's, do bluray one's keep it's sharpness?)
-I would like to start using video conferencing, such as skype or msn for my kids to talk to and see family members they haven't met (they live in Venezuela), which would mean purchasing a decent webcam, which I plan on doing as well (any advice on these?)
- Basic web surfing for other things outside of netflix/youtube (bluray player can access these)

I have read a lot of reviews on small form pc's and this gateway series seem to get the best reviews. I don't plan on doing too much photo editing on this desktop, but I do plan on having lots of movies and pictures loaded on it since the screen for it will be my 46 in led. What do you think? Should I get this one? or is there another minipc that would be a better bargain? (although for that the 2840 bring I believe it's a good price and I don't mind paying for it)

#13 troublesh00ter

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 01:29 PM

That is a great model!

Don't ever let anyone tell you gateway is horrible (I'm certain someone will try to tell you this).

They used to suck really bad but Acer bought them out and they've been doing much better ever since.

Using a Windows PC as a DVR

All I have to say is GOOD LUCK!

When DVR's first came about, this idea was more realistic than it is now. I'm sure you've heard of DMR (no, not the department of marine resources... DIGITAL MEDIA RIGHTS) DMR makes using your computer as a DVR really complicated. It's not impossible, just difficult.

All or most of the content that you'd want to record would be wrapped in a special encrypted codec that prevents you from manipulating it/burning/ripping/recording.

Although there are communities that support breaking this encryption (I've never tried but apparently it's not very difficult according to testimonies I've read).

Someone finally cracked the encryption for HD content not long ago (I wanna say it was like last month).

Anyways... I'd personally suggest you give up on the DVR thing and forget about a TV tuner. Same problems. They'll sell you the hardware but they don't mention that the content available to you is EXTREMELY, i repeat again, EXTREMELY LIMITED unless you have the knowledge or support of hacking digital media.
for3ver,
goose90proof

#14 Jeimygirl

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 01:59 PM

That is a great model!

Don't ever let anyone tell you gateway is horrible (I'm certain someone will try to tell you this).

They used to suck really bad but Acer bought them out and they've been doing much better ever since.

Using a Windows PC as a DVR

All I have to say is GOOD LUCK!

When DVR's first came about, this idea was more realistic than it is now. I'm sure you've heard of DMR (no, not the department of marine resources... DIGITAL MEDIA RIGHTS) DMR makes using your computer as a DVR really complicated. It's not impossible, just difficult.

All or most of the content that you'd want to record would be wrapped in a special encrypted codec that prevents you from manipulating it/burning/ripping/recording.

Although there are communities that support breaking this encryption (I've never tried but apparently it's not very difficult according to testimonies I've read).

Someone finally cracked the encryption for HD content not long ago (I wanna say it was like last month).

Anyways... I'd personally suggest you give up on the DVR thing and forget about a TV tuner. Same problems. They'll sell you the hardware but they don't mention that the content available to you is EXTREMELY, i repeat again, EXTREMELY LIMITED unless you have the knowledge or support of hacking digital media.


thank a lot for your opinion. I'm not too worried about the DVR as I wouldn't use it as much (When I had one with DirecTV I rarely did) i might have a show here or there I'd want to record If I miss it but it's nothing that would be often and I wouldn't burn the content either. I just read somewhere that people have used it so I was curious.

I'm not worried about the Tuner either as my tv has it, I just know that that Gateway comes with it. Wonder if I can opt to not have it and it be cheaper?

#15 Blathnat

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 02:41 PM

I have found, on several occasions now, that quite a few manufacturers offer upgrades or choices on components. I usually choose the higher end CPU, chipset and graphics processor, and always get an operating system disc with it. It keeps the price reasonable and there isn't the problem of researching compatibility with individual components. Watch the case for
cooling. Some are very much better than others.




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